The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney)
HOW could a pet shop owner possibly determine if a prospective customer would be responsible or caring (‘‘Ban on pet owners’’, ST 3/10)?
Is it really likely that those in the business of selling animals for profit would choose to refuse a customer’s money? It would be far better to ban the sale of animals in pet shops altogether, since impulse buying can lead to neglect and abandonment of animals.
For too long, animals have been regarded as human ‘‘possessions’’, so replacing the word ‘‘owner’’ with ‘‘guardian’’ — as done in many cities in the US— would surely encourage greater respect and compassion. Animals would gradually come to be viewed as fellow sentient beings, rather than disposable commodities.